Posted by Sheila Thomasson

A Pause For Positives

A great truism is the one that acknowledges “People often take things for granted.” At almost every level or at some time in our life, we will take our many blessings and the people we love for granted. We wish we didn’t and we try not to, but life is busy and we are busier and so it happens. Almost always when I am working with a couple in their pre-marital counseling sessions, I will heavily stress the need that the couple make certain not to take each other for granted, and to always show appreciation and thankfulness for the small tokens of love and assistance as well as for the large.

With that being said, we who call St. John’s our family and who live out our faith life through this congregation have many things to be thankful for and that we hopefully are not taking for granted. This month, in the middle of a very hot summer, I’d like to take a moment and lift up just a few of the many things and people for which we are so grateful. The list is long, but I shall make an effort this month to highlight just a few for us to be thinking about this summer.
1) Let’s start with our facilities. The church and the educational building are testament to the stewardship of past generations. I often hear from members and visitors about how beautiful our church is. And truly it is! This makes it easy for us to gather for worship in such a beautiful, historic and holy space. And by comparison our educational building is almost brand new, and it provides us a comfortable space in which to enjoy fellowship and learn about the God who loves us and claims us as His children. Both past and present generations have given us this opportunity.
2) Perhaps you’ve never given it much thought, but the cemetery existing between these two buildings is testimony to many saints who worshiped at St. John’s and have given of themselves to make St. John’s the church and community of faith that it is today.
3) The members and guests who come and share their faith in worship and praise to God. We are a church that is extremely blessed to have such caring and compassionate people sitting in the pews. We have a well-earned reputation for being a friendly church and making people feel at home. This is a church not afraid to welcome people in the name of Christ!
4) Within this membership are some very committed, talented and gifted people. We have teachers and cooks, caregivers and note senders, brilliant minds and hard workers. And out of these groups, every year we raise up leaders who give of themselves on the Vestry to help guide us into the next year and the next century of ministry. The Vestry and others work extremely hard in their specific area of service to make certain that everything is taken care of and provided for.
5) We have a church staff that is dedicated to tending to the day-to-day business of the church and helping keep us all connected. The church office is held together on a day-by-day basis by Carole, and each week Todd provides us with music that we hear and participate in that lifts our spirits in song and thanksgiving to God for the gift of His son Jesus Christ. And we have just added Jennifer to the staff to help us organize and grow our Christian Education opportunities.

And most important, I think, is the God we have come to know and love through His Son Jesus Christ. Every day there is a new blessing He gives and a new opportunity He provides for us to see His presence around us and be thankful. I encourage you this month to think of something every day for which you are thankful. And if possible, share your feelings of thankfulness with those you know and love, and with those who are around you. Even in the midst of difficult times, if we look around us our blessings are numerous, for our God is a good and loving God.

Count your blessings with me this month, and be thankful. And let me say from the bottom of my heart: I’m thankful for each of you!

In Christ,
Pastor Butler +